Evaluation of the Flaxmere Urban Design Framework Health Impact Assessment

This report presents the findings of a process and impact evaluation of a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the Hasting District Council (HDC) Flaxmere Town Centre Urban Design Framework. The HIA was led by the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (DHB) HIA team. The evaluation was undertaken by the HIA Research Unit, University of Otago and was supported by funding from the Ministry of Health’s HIA Support Unit’s Learning by Doing Fund.

The evaluation was conducted alongside the HIA. Data were gathered for the evaluation using a mix of methods that included; participant observation, workshop participants’ evaluation feedback, documentary analysis and interviews with nine key stakeholders.

The evaluation’s key findings suggest the HIA process was effective. While the evaluation results are somewhat skewed towards the HIA team members’ views on the effectiveness of the HIA process, the feedback from the community stakeholders, the evaluators’ observations of the process, and documentary analysis collectively suggest that, on balance, the HIA worked very well. The HDC adopted all nine of the HIAs’ recommendations and all five of its objectives were met. 

The HIA on the HDC’s Flaxmere Town Centre Urban Design Framework is another example of the value gained from the use of HIA in the Hawke’s Bay Region. It is also another example of the Ministry of Health’s Learning by Doing fund being put to good use.

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